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Selecting the Best Plants for Your Freshwater Aquarium

Selecting the Best Plants for Your Freshwater Aquarium

Although your fish are the focal point of your freshwater tank, adding plants will make your tank more attractive and interesting while also providing shelter and hiding places to keep your aquatic life feeling safe and secure. The perfect time to create an underwater garden in your tank is right when you are setting up your aquarium. Picking out plants is a fun task but one you should consider carefully since your choices greatly influence the expense and maintenance required for your tank.

Plastic Plants

Many pet parents select plastic plants for convenience and variety. Although plastic plants don’t provide the same environmental benefits as live plants, artificial foliage often requires less maintenance than live plants do. Because they are not light sensitive, plastic plants will not wither, though they may fade after an extended period of time.

When the plants become dirty, scrub and rinse them off in tap water, dry them and place them back in your freshwater tank.

Live Plants

One of the main benefits of using live plants is that they produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide during the day, although the opposite happens at night. In addition to providing a place for your fish to hang out and hide, live plants absorb fish waste as nutrients for growth and can help reduce algae in the tank. Some fish also like to eat certain plant species. In general, live plants can provide a cleaner and healthier environment for your aquatic life.

If you choose live plants, plant them in a deep gravel bed on the bottom of the aquarium or in pots for proper root development. Provide a light bulb that is designed for plant life that closely replicates natural sunlight to encourage growth. The tank needs to be illuminated for at least 10 - 12 hours per day to keep the plants healthy.

By taking the time to select and properly maintain the right kind of plants for your freshwater aquarium, you can provide a healthier and more attractive aquatic environment for you and your fish.